News Hub Opinion

Voices of experience on living with disability, inclusion and how the NDIS is transforming lives.

Opinion 8 July 2015

We are worth the investment

“I say the ‘I’ in NDIS should stand for ‘investment’. We are worth the investment. To move forward we need people to believe in us, to back us up, and create opportunities. When people have confidence in us then we start to believe in ourselves. We need to change the words to change the thinking.” A quote by Michael Sullivan, from an article by Julia May, Sunday Age, 15 February 2015.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 July 2015

Two year anniversary marks the dawn of reform

This week, two years ago we celebrated the dawn of a reform that finally provides opportunities to people with disability to be included in every part of community life. It was a day in which we as a nation made a statement that we would accept people with disability, Australians that we had so long ostracised and denied. On July 1 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme first came to life.

Read more Read more
Opinion 1 July 2015

Counting the cost

A while ago there was a study released about the costs of raising a child on the Spectrum, which placed the costs at around $35,000 a year. When you first hear that number, it seems like a lot. $35,000 could buy you a nice new car, maybe a luxury overseas holiday or just imagine the shoes!

Read more Read more
Opinion 18 June 2015

Why disability advocacy matters under the NDIS

Since we all celebrated the first launch sites for the National Disability Insurance Scheme one of the biggest sources of uncertainty that has emerged is what will happen to disability advocacy services in this mix.

Read more Read more
Opinion 9 June 2015

Every Australian Counts: Exploring Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has great potential to improve the lives of people with psychosocial disability associated with mental illness. If we are to meet the needs of these people, however it is absolutely crucial that we get the broad architecture of the scheme right.

Read more Read more
Opinion 27 May 2015

Lived experience

I’m sitting on the back deck of our humble home in Melbourne’s outer east, with my laptop, looking into the large backyard my nieces and nephews refer to as “the park”. Every time I sit here I can’t help thinking of the Creedence lyrics “Doo, doo, doo lookin’ out my backdoor”.

Read more Read more
Opinion 11 May 2015

The dignity of Hayden’s risk

Hayden McLean can’t live with his family, and nor should he be expected to at 36 years of age. He needs his space for his various projects such as French knitting and drawing. He likes to be free and explore the world around him. Some have called this ‘absconding’. His mother calls it “accessing the community”.

Read more Read more
Opinion 16 April 2015

NDIS: Navigating the new system

The service providers are grappling with the need to change old models that do not always fit new ways of thinking, the bureaucrats are struggling to make a large and developing system encompass the needs of the most diverse of all populations.

Read more Read more
Opinion 31 March 2015

NDIS and First Peoples

By any measure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities are some of the most disadvantaged Australians, often facing multiple barriers to their meaningful participation within their own communities and the wider community.

Read more Read more
Opinion 12 March 2015

NDIS at the fringe – equity of access for all?

A central aim of the NDIS is to provide equity of access to disability support. The terrible inequities of the past where access to disability support was based on rationing and queues should be banished. However, does the scheme as so far designed ensure equity of access for all people with disability or only for those people who have the awareness and understanding to seek out the NDIS or have family advocates to support them with this? Many people with disability are not in this position.

Read more Read more
Opinion 18 February 2015

A scorecard on the NDIS trials

As we near two years since the start of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) we are beginning to get a handle on how this complex reform is living up to its promise to improve the lives of people with disability through choice, control and person centred support within an insurance approach.

Read more Read more
Opinion 16 February 2015

Attitude is the biggest barrier

Despite great leaps towards inclusion for all, our society still seems to have a fairly limited awareness of the need to or even how to make our communities accessible to all citizens.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 February 2015

Ready for work but is work ready for me?

Fresh from participating in the Special Olympics Torch Run through Melbourne, Pippa Swanwick is gleeful about being interviewed on the Channel 7 news about her role in the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Read more Read more
Opinion 22 January 2015

How will the NDIS talk to a quarter of the disability population?

The Every Australian Counts Campaign is the largest disability related campaign I’ve seen in Australia and the promise is no less than a revolution.

Read more Read more
Opinion 6 January 2015

Being of service or being a service?

My motivation to create a more inclusive Australia is highly personal. I have been transformed by love and by my brother’s experiences in a disabling world.

Read more Read more
Opinion 23 December 2014

Waising Miss Chloe

Nestled in the outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne is a light and leafy abode, the home of Sue and Chloe Dymond. They welcome me quite literally with open arms, and having followed their life journey in Sue’s book ‘Waising Miss Chloe’, I was only too comfortable with this.

Read more Read more
Opinion 15 December 2014

Disability in Australia: Unfinished Business

Our investment in the NDIS is a landmark achievement. However Australia requires deep cultural, structural, economic, legal and attitudinal change if we are to deliver on the reform agenda outlined by the Productivity Commission for disability in this country.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 December 2014

Changing Attitudes Changes Lives

I roared out of the garage of Sydney University, and the College of Law, a shiny new lawyer. My social justice engine, fuelled by its knowledge of unfair dismissals and unconscionable contracts, was ready to drive people from the back roads of disadvantage onto the freeway of life.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 December 2014

Work and the invisible disabling disease

Most of us have an idea in our heads of what ‘disabled’ looks like. It’s a very clear picture, and it usually involves wheel chairs or other visible devices.

Read more Read more
Opinion 3 December 2014

The starers, the nosy, the plain rude

If you’ve ever been to a grocery story with a toddler, it’s likely it’s happened to you.

Read more Read more
Opinion 17 November 2014

Carers Role Becomes Clearer

Nearly 18 months on from the launch of the NDIS trial sites many of the initial concerns of carers and those associations which represent them are being addressed.

Read more Read more